When news filtered through that Anthony Martial had left Man Utd’s pre-season tour of the United States, many observers were wondering as to the reasons why. Had he turned into Le Sulk Mark II at not being allowed to leave the club, was he in the process of securing said move, had he annoyed Mourinho to the point of no return?
After United beat AC Milan in a marathon penalty shoot out, Mourinho was able to provide some clarity on the Martial situation. He told reporters:
“I found out that Martial was going to Paris when he told me, this was two or three days ago. When it is personal reasons, everyone analyses the way they think is the correct way and when a man is going to be a father in this case, it’s the second time he is going to be a father, and he decides it is very important for him to go, nobody has the right to stop him to go”.
As Mourinho referred to, Martial is becoming a father for the second time, the first being with his now ex partner.
Martial was appearing quite jovial on tour, with many joking that they had never seen him smiling so much, which went against the grain of your typically guy supposedly wanting a future away from the club.
As strange as it sounds, the timing of the birth could ultimately turn out to be very costly, if he harbours ambitions of sticking it out at United. Martial’s exit coincided with Alexis Sanchez looking hungry, determined and razor sharp.
Many are now anticipating the Chilean to take the league by storm this season, with the signs looking very promising that the belief he would benefit from a full pre-season with United looking to be on the right track.
It could hypothetically leave Martial as a bargaining tool and a spare part as the season edges ever closer.
For the time being, all that is clear is that the Frenchman went with Mourinho’s blessing.
I wonder if we’ll be saying that again come 10th August.